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Interview with Leo Borromeo

Posted by Phil Yu on

Leo is a competitive speedcuber from the Philippines. To date, Leo has attended 26 WCA competitions. Leo currently ranks 10th in the world for 3x3 average (6.31 seconds) and 15th in the world for 3x3 OH average (11.01 seconds). Braving the time zone difference from the opposite side of the world, Leo is a two-time winner of Cubing at Home, a large ultra-competitive online speedcubing event series. 

See more of Leo here: 

What’s your cubing origin story? How did you first get into cubing? 

My mom thought I could get into cubing since I was decent at building stuff with Legos. I also used to watch Feliks a lot before I learned how to solve the cube. 

I first really got into cubing when I met JB Cañares in a restaurant. JB was one of the leaders in the cubing community in Cebu, the city I live in. He was the first person who showed me what the cubing community was all about here in Cebu. 

Funnily enough, YouTube recommended me a video of Feliks titled Feliks Zemdegs - World’s Fastest Rubik’s Cube Solver. I heard of what a cube was before I saw the video but I never knew how fast people could solve it. 

Do you consider yourself a competitive person? Do you think a competitive mindset is needed for a person to become a good speedcuber? 

Yes, ever since I got fast enough to podium at local competitions. I don’t think a competitive mindset is necessary, but it definitely makes cubing more enjoyable -- to challenge yourself against other cubers. 

Speaking of challenges against other cubers, we've been seeing a lot of best-of-100 races on Twitch lately. If you could compete against any cuber (from any time period), who would you choose? 

Some people come to mind. People like Yu Nakajima, Yumu Tabuchi, and Tomasz Żołnowski. I would also love to race Patrick Ponce, Max Park, Bill Wang, or Philipp Weyer. 

So you had the honor of winning Cubing at Home twice now. Do you have a favorite Cubing at Home memory? 

Definitely winning it the first time because I put the most practice and dedication into it. I did 300 solves a day before and didn’t sleep for 26 hours. 

We see you occasionally playing your guitar on social media. Do you have any favorite bands or guitarists?

I love rock bands like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam and I also love metal bands like Slipknot, Korn, Metallica, Megdeth, and Pantera. Some of my favorite guitarists are Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, and Nuno Bettencourt.

Back to cubing, what’s a day of practice like for you? Do you have any goals for your next competitions? 

In a day, I usually do around 400 solves of 3x3, 4x4, and 5x5. My goals for my next competition are a sub 6 3x3 average, a sub 5 3x3 single, a sub 20 4x4 single, a sub 26 4x4 average, and more. 

What’s your favorite cube to use in competition and how do you like to set it up? 

I use a GAN 356 XS as my 3x3 main. I set my tension to 3 (on the light blue nut) and my tension to 4 (on the large clear nut). My preferred lubes are Angstrom Gravitas, Cubicle Labs Silk, and DNM-37

Cubing is a source of friendship for a lot of people. Who are your best cubing friends? 

Most of my friends that I’ve made from comps are mostly Cebu speedcubers. There are also some speedcubers from Manila, where Sean Patrick Villanueva is from. I’m friends with Brenton Wong, Toby Litiatco, Lorenzo Layug, Adel Mosallami, Jaden Lim, and Inigo Palisoc. They’re all speedcubers who have great potential. I’ve also made friends with some top cubers like Tymon and Feliks

We’re proud to see you and Sean Patrick Villanueva in the top 10 for 3x3 average. Interestingly, you guys attended the fewest number of competitions out of anybody in the top 10. What makes you so successful in the competitions you go to? 

Just my determination to break records and the amount of time I spend to practice whenever I can. 

Can you tell me something cool about yourself that you think most people don't know?

My favorite sport is football and I play it whenever I can. Also, I just very recently became math varsity at my school. 

Now for the last question, how would you describe your cubing style? 

I try to turn as fluid and as fast as possible while still being very efficient. I try my best to stay calm in certain pressure situations. I also know a bunch of different last layer algorithms. 

Thank you so much for the interview! You’re certainly doing a lot in cubing, sports, music, and academics. Our community is very lucky to have you. Best of luck on everything!

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